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Topless Breast Cancer Survivor Swimming Pool Controversy

A Seattle woman wanted to swim topless in a city pool.

The city feared it might be offensive.

But as Lindsay Cohen explains, the woman's uncommon condition changed people's minds.

In a city as progressive as Seattle is...

"My head's reeling a little bit." (laughs)

Jodi Jaecks never thought her desire to go swimming...

Would make such a splash.

"It's not my style, you know, to make big waves. But this is much bigger."

It would be one thing if it was a style choice for her to want to swim in public topless.

It''s a whole other thing, when you realize it's because of this.

"I found it on a self breast exam."

Jaecks survived breast cancer last year and chose to have a double mastectomy -- both breasts removed over the fear the cancer could come back.

Being active was always a part of life.

Remaining active was crucial to recovery.

Someone suggested a public pool in the central district as a way for her to heal.

But for Jaecks, a full bathing suit would bring intense pain as her body recovered.

She told the parks staff she would like to swim topless.

She no longer had breasts, nothing to shield.

The response: she would still have to dress accordingly, and cover up.

"If I called myself and man and walked into that pool they would have no problem with my body. But if I am a woman who's had breast cancer, with the exact same body, and I go in there, then it was offensive or inappropriate."

A photo of her post-cancer body appeared in the stranger, which broke the story -- a story that now has the city reversing its course, saying she'll be able to swim topless if she wants to...

But all others will be on a case-by-case basis.

"The city, it's a bureaucracy. But I don't think it's in keeping with what most people think of the progressive politics of Seattle."

Jaecks says she plans to fight for all women with mastectomy scars to get to swim topless.

The city parks department says Jaecks can do it...but only during adult lap swimming sessions.


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